Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smangus, an aboriginal Village, preserves the natural environment and its unique cultural heritage.

Smangus, 司馬庫斯
     This documentary film is directed by Dean Johnson, and Frank Smith for Taiwan PTS (Public Television Station) is about Taiwan's most remote mountain village which took 15 months to produce.  It will be broadcasted at 10 pm on June 30, Taiwan time.

"High in the mountains of Taiwan, is the village of Smangus, 
inhabited by a group of Indigenous people. This film takes 
the audience into the mountains of Taiwan to witness the 
passing of a year amongst the Tayal.
20 years ago, the tribe was amongst the poorest on the
 island, many were forced to seek low paid labor in
the cities, but the chief, Icyeh Sulung had a vision of
great trees that would ensure the tribe’s survival.
The tribe found a forest of Cypress trees that were
to change their future.
The rare Chamaecyparis formosensis Matsum forest were estimated to be more than 2000 years old, and the interest from tourists turned
Smangus into a thriving eco-tourism center. The sudden
wealth and pressures from outside played havoc with the
tribe’s unity, and the tribe made a fateful decision to
ensure their future – everything was to be shared.
 Smangus is the only place in Taiwan that now practices
common ownership of land and property.
Now, PTS tells the story of Smangus. As spring comes to 
the mountains, the chief is diagnosed with cancer, whilst 
a small group from the tribe rejects the communal system 
and tries to build a competing tourism business. By summer, 
a baby girl is born to the tribe, and by the time of the 
harvest,a wedding takes place. By winter, we have
experienced every part of the lives of these people, and
the bonds formed with the forest around them." 


Above information is from its Office website http://www.pts.org.tw/smangus/eng/Storyen.html


     Smangus now becomes a popular tourist spot for the outdoor lovers in Taiwan not because of this documentary. After the road was built in 1995, outsiders can assess this beautiful area easily and witness the giant secret tree forest which was discovered in 1991. Since, the word has gotten out. I have planed to visit this indigenous village for 2 years but still in a planning mode.  If you somehow happen to be in Taiwan for a leisure trip, it will be a good place for you to visit the primative  forest and the indigenous village. 
     Here is its tourist service center website in Chinese Smangus Tourist Service Center You can find the direction, hotel, and other service on the website.   



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